Needham Market axe Kem Izzet and Karl Duguid as U’s legend applies for Colchester United job

HAPPY TIMES: Kem Izzet poses with Needham Market manager Mark Morsley as the FA Cup came to the club in October 2013
HAPPY TIMES: Kem Izzet poses with Needham Market manager Mark Morsley as the FA Cup came to the club in October 2013

Needham Market club captain and academy boss Kem Izzet — who has now publicly applied for the vacant Colchester United manager job — and reserves player/manager and second-site academy manager Karl Duguid have both been told they no longer feature in the Ryman League Premier Division club’s plans.

The Bloomfields outfit, who secured another season at the highest level in their history this month, face a big overhaul of recruitment off-the-pitch this summer with the pair among seven of the backroom make-up leaving the club.

While head of recruitment Jon Willis was also announced as leavinng in the statement with Izzet and Duguid for what the club stated as ‘necessity’ it was announced in Saturday’s matchday programme first-team physio Kirk Denim is leaving to go to Stowmarket Town as well as fitness and rehab coach Ian Jenkins also announcing his intention to move on.

Programme editor Alex Moss resigned last week, while Alan Jopling has given up his position on the club’s committee.

Izzet’s arrival from a 12-year spell at Colchester United — which had triggered a testimonial in 2012 — in September 2013 was much heralded with the diminutive midfielder going on to pull the strings as the Marketmen set a record points total for the Isthmian Ryman League Division One North on their way up to the Premier Division as champions at the end of last season.

This season saw Izzet take on the club captaincy as well as heading up the Brantham site of Needham’s dual-centre academy.

Duguid, who made 383 appearances for Colchester from 1995-2008, arrived at Bloomfields in the summer having played most recently at Eastern Counties Thurlow Nunn League Stanway Rovers, which followed on from former Ipswich Town fellow midfielder Ian Westlake’s decision to hang up his boots at the age of 31 to concentrate on fatherhood.

Duguid only made 13 appearance (including 11 starts) for the first-team before becoming a regular fixtures for the reserves, eventually going on to be named the reserves’ player/manager following Kevin Horlock’s mid-season departure.

Izzet continued to be a mainstay of the team who battled their way out of a relegation battle, making 49 appearances in all competitions (including 34 starts) and scoring four goals.

A statement on the Needham Market official website suggested a cut in the budget was behind the decision to release both from their roles.

“Needham Market FC Academy has reorganised due to necessity and subsequently Academy Managers Kem Izzet and Karl Duguid and Head of Recruitment Jon Willis will no longer be involved with the Academy,” it read.

“We would like to place on record our thanks to them for their dedication and completely professional attitude over the past year, and wish them all the best for the future.

“We hope to be in a position to announce the new structure within a week.”

It comes after Needham Market slapped the Bury Free Press with a ban at their home ground, as well as talking to current players and staff, for printing a story about former striker Adam Mills’ acrimonious departure from the club.

The ban still remains in place.

Izzet started his career at then-Premier League Charlton Athletic but did not make an appearance for the Addicks first team with a loan spell at Colchester in 2001 prompting a love affair with the U’s that spanned 420 appearances and 18 goals in a permanent stay in Essex from 2001-2013.

It included a runners-up medal as they earned promotion to the Championship in 2006 as they enjoyed a fairytale end to playing at Layer Road, ahead of the move to the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

After secretly putting his name forward for the U’s job earlier this season, Izzet made no secret of his desire to take over the reigns this time around, announcing he had done so on Twitter, which provoked a big show of support, with some speculation Duguid would be his right-hand man.